A co-worker asked for advice about dating a writer.
My answer: “Everything you say in bed is going to show up in a poem.”
“When I started writing these poems, the South was a distant object to me. It was a past-tense terrain, but, of course, once I got down into the muck of writing—the real work of it all—that distance vanished. Memories that I thought were ash, in fact, were still hot to the touch.”
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Q: What inspired you to become a writer?
A: My mother’s bookshelf. It was in the center of our living room and had books by writers like Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and James Baldwin. I started reading them when I was in middle school and it felt like I was suddenly breathing a cleaner, fresher kind of air. Those books saved my life. They taught me how to make a way forward for myself in this world.
You can read the rest of this interview here.